I've never had a date for New Year's Eve. For years I brooded about it. The worst New Year's Eve was the one I almost had a date.

I got off the train from New York into a full scale blizzard. The cab crept slowly home from the station as I agonized. I knew I'd be late.

When I did get home it was utter chaos, on dresses and fighting for the bathroom.

And he never called. Never!

But I can laugh about it now. It's been seven years and times have changed. I now know you can have fun on New Year's Eve without a date. Plenty of night clubs, restaurants, discos, and even hotels are eager to help singles as well as couples usher the old year out and the new in.

So there, Steve Schwartzman! I have my revenge!

For the fearless, Dupont Circle's Torremolinos Restaurant caps off a sumptuous feast and dancing with a traditional Spanish New Year's breakfast of garlic soup and champagne. Or you can greet 1978 "soul food style" at Pigfoot with hoghead and blackeye peas. Tia Maria's down by the waterfront features a genuine Mexican Mole Mash.

If you have late, late dinner reservations, sdtart off the evening at the Sheraton-Park Hotel with the Miss United Teenager Pageant. Ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available through Ticketron. The later you go the more crowded it gets.

It's standing room only for the waltz crowd to the tune of Alexander Schneider and Friends' "A Night in Old Vienna" at the Kennedy Center. But District Creative Space offers music to boogie to by the Muffins, topped off with far out jazz from Brother Yahya and the Cultural Art Ensemble. And for the avant garde there's a vegetarian and fish buffet.

No shortage of standard fare - buffet, prime ribs, surf and turf, dancing to big band sounds. ANd if tying on a good one is your style, hotels have packages that include a room and brunch to keep you off the road after the partying.

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